On the second day of Tet, the Lunar New Year, thousands of people go to the Temple of Literature in the capital city’s Dong Da District to light incense and pray for progress on their learning paths, good exam scores and get the ‘magic’ calligraphy that will help their wishes be granted. The venue, Vietnam’s first university built in 1070, has become a sacred place for most Vietnamese people.
Before asking for the brushes to pen magic words, people pray for fortune and success.
If you don’t have time to line up and wait for the calligraphy, you can buy readymade ones at the souvenir shops for VND100,000 ($4).
People have to queue up for a long time to get their calligraphic dose for the year.
The calligraphers don’t have a minute to rest as their brushes keep moving to keep up with the demand.
Depending on the material and size, each calligraphic work costs between VND130,000 and 150,000.
It is believed that calligraphy writers not only have to produce beautiful characters, but also deeply understand the meaning of each word they write as well as the wishes and personalities of the people who ask for them.
Yen Lan, a 10th grader, asked for a calligraphic writing of ‘Passing Exams.’
A group of 12th graders have bought calligraphy works as part of their preparation for upcoming important exams.
Fifth grade student Huy Anh went to the Temple of Literature with his father and asked for the word “Moral.”
The weather in Hanoi during Tet has been warm and sunny, helping dry the ink on paper faster.